Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado is looking for adults who are willing to make a personal investment of time, the gift of friendship to a child. It really is all about time. Currently, Big Brothers Big Sisters in Archuleta County has a waiting list of children who are looking for an adult or a couple to be a friend and mentor for them. These are children whose lives can be positively influenced and forever changed by someone who is willing to give them a little time.
Perhaps the reason more people do not volunteer is they fear that they will not be able to be consistent, or cannot commit to a particular time schedule each week. While the agency does encourage weekly meetings, the actual schedules are created by the “Bigs” and the’‘Littles” themselves and they are not required to stick to a specific time regiment. If the Big must be out of town for a brief period of time, the Big can make arrangements with the Little to get together upon return. In the mean time, a simple phone call or postcard helps to keep the relationship on track.
Bigs find that simply including their Little in their leisure activities, whether that is running errands, going for a walk or a hike, biking, tubing, rafting, sewing, cooking, fishing, shopping, or whatever activities happen to come up, can be a very fulfilling way to enjoy each other’s company.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has a number of community partners who offer free or inexpensive ways to spend time with the Little. Many area businesses have volunteered free or discounted meals, movies, concerts, swimming, games and many other activities to the Bigs and Littles. In addition, the Big Brothers Big Sisters community coordinator plans occasional free outings for Bigs and Littles to enjoy.
Couples can also volunteer to mentor a child. The advantage to this can be manifold. Often the Littles come from single-parent households and do not see parents in a positive relationship. By experiencing and witnessing firsthand the love and commitment of a married couple, the Little learns valuable life information for the future. Additionally, when one partner cannot be available to the Little due to conflicts in time, the other partner can often step in to help.
Being a Big Brother or Sister is time well spent. It has been said and it is true, that more often than not the Big gets as much joy and fulfillment from the relationship as the Little. There is a deep satisfaction in knowing you are making a difference in someone’s life, especially when it is a child. As the relationship grows, your life is enriched and you find you have grown as well.
To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado, you can visit www.bbig.org, or you can call 264-5077 and speak with Sally Neel, community coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Take the time, it is time well spent.